Anti-Defection Laws: A Boon or a Bane

  • Bhakti Makhija,
  • Bhavyaa Setia and Jannat Kapoor
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  • Bhakti Makhija

    Student at O.P Jindal Global Law School, India

  • Bhavyaa Setia

    Student at O.P Jindal Global Law School, India

  • Jannat Kapoor

    Student at O.P Jindal Global Law School, India

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The issue of political defections stands as a grave national concern, potentially eroding the very principle upon which our democracy thrives (freedom of speech, free will etc.). It is of paramount necessity that political entities heed the resounding calls for electoral reform and undertake substantive measures to institute intraparty democracy, a measure that would curtail candidate defections and thereby fortify the structural integrity of our national political system. The notable absence of intraparty democracy has, regrettably, contributed to the transformation of political parties into closed and autocratic entities. This transformation has precipitated an increase in internal divisions, the nomination of subpar candidates for electoral contests, and a troubling surge in the criminalization of politics, coupled with the undue influence of financial power in electoral processes. In the absence of a clearly delineated and transparent process for candidate selection preceding elections, electoral tickets are frequently awarded based on nebulous notions of winnability. This approach, however, tragically disregards the significance of robust debate and dissent, thereby creating an environment where strict adherence to party directives resembles the tyranny within the party, rather than serving as a bulwark of ethical party conduct. Furthermore, this practice jeopardizes the fundamental role of parliamentary representation, as it curtails the ability of members within the legislature to voice opinions contrary to the party's official stance. However, despite these shortcomings, many people are calling for the strengthening of anti-defection laws instead of relinquishing them. Many times, this law blurs the line between expressing legitimate disagreement and outright defection. This regrettable situation stifles a crucial aspect of parliamentary democracy. The anti-defection law, designed to bolster political party stability, unintentionally curtails meaningful parliamentary discussions. Legislators often refrain from expressing dissent or engaging in open debates due to fears of disqualification or punitive action for deviating from party lines. This limitation impedes the democratic process by stifling the exploration of alternative perspectives and potential improvements to proposed laws. The law's intended purpose appears to conflict with the essence of a thriving democracy, which relies on diverse thought and open discourse. Policymakers should reconsider the balance between party discipline and robust parliamentary deliberation to better align with both political stability and democratic principles.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 2716 - 2724


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